Hormonal influences on physical exercise
The overall aim of the projects is to study the effect of the menstrual cycle and hormonal contraceptives on physical performance in physically active women of fertile age.
The menstrual cycle implies a basic difference in the biology of women and men but the effect of the hormonal variation during the menstrual cycle and during use of hormonal contraceptives on physical performance is still only partly understood. Our research group has performed menstrual cycle related studies during the last 20 years. We have performed studies on physical performance and premenstrual symptoms during the menstrual cycle and during use of oral contraceptives. Furthermore, we were the first group to characterize the variation in gene and protein expression levels of sex steroid hormone receptors in skeletal muscle during the menstrual cycle.
The projects are performed in collaboration between The Division of Physiotherapy (Docent Cecilia Fridén), and the Department of Women's and Children's Health (Professor Angelica Lindén- Hirschberg), Karolinska Institutet. Other members of the group are Linda Ekenros, PhD and Philip von Rosen, PhD.
The impact of the menstrual cycle and hormonal contraceptives on sports performance – from the athlete's perspective
The overall aim of this project is to map Swedish elite athletes' experience of how the menstrual cycle, or the use of hormonal contraceptives affect physical performance, health, and well-being. A further aim is to identify what knowledge elite sports women have about the menstrual cycle and how women perceive attitudes and the level of knowledge of coaches in their sport. This has been studied with a questionnaire and with qualitative interview studies with athletes and coaches, and will be published during 2022..
This project will contribute to improved knowledge of female athlete's experience of the menstrual cycle and the use of oral contraceptives on athletic performance and the knowledge of athletes and coaches in this area.
The impact of exercise periodization during the menstrual cycle on physical performance- a randomized, controlled study
The overall aim of this randomized, controlled study is to evaluate the effect of exercise periodization during different phases of the menstrual cycle on physical performance.
The menstrual cycle implies a basic difference in the biology of women and men but the effect of the hormonal variation during the menstrual cycle on physical performance is still only partly understood. Despite no existing evidence, the advice to periodize exercise according to the menstrual cycle has been widely spread among athletes and sports federations.
The aim of this randomized, controlled study is to evaluate the effect of exercise periodization during different phases of the menstrual cycle on physical performance. Further, the effect of exercise periodization on premenstrual symptoms, body composition and skeletal muscle morphology, sex hormone receptors, metabolic enzymes and markers of muscle protein synthesis will also be evaluated.
This study will contribute to improved knowledge about exercise periodization in relation to the menstrual cycle. Well-grounded data is crucial to give evidence-based recommendations to female athletes when planning their training protocol to optimize training results and performance.